When the coin is tossed before a football game, the team that wins the toss has to decide if they want to receive the opening kickoff and go right on offense. The other option is to “defer” and wait to get the ball to start the second half. Deferment is considered by many coaches as an effective game strategy.
And the same can hold true for running races.
Sometimes it’s a good idea to defer and run another day.
Obviously if you’re injured, taking the time off to heal is the right prescription every time.
But there are other reasons to defer a race.
And this fall I’ve deferred races. Not once, not twice, but thrice.
In August I deferred the Madison Half Marathon; in September it was the Ventura Half Marathon; and yesterday I deferred the Santa Barbara Half Marathon (technically I transferred SB to another racer, but it’s the same principle).
It did bug me a little that I deferred the races; the competitive part of me never likes to shy away from a challenge.
But in each instance I have to believe it was the right call to defer.
For Madison, there was a huge scheduling and cost headache attached to the race and it just made common sense to push it to next year (especially since I had several other races in the surrounding weeks).
Ventura had to do more with a needed breather.
I had just come off of a really bad performance at a race (Disneyland Half Marathon) the week before. I also had the REVEL Big Cottonwood Half Marathon coming up the week after (three races in three weeks). I figured it was a good strategy to take a week off from racing to rest, shake off the bad mojo and concentrate on Big Cottonwood.
It appears that strategy worked wonders as I ended up achieving a half marathon PR at REVEL Big Cottonwood.
And then there’s Santa Barbara. Deferring this race is all about prevention.
In two weeks I’m having my most ambitious (aka crazy) running weekend ever, where I’m running three half marathons in 33 hours.
- REVEL Canyon City Half Marathon- 11/15 (7:30 am)
- Avengers Super-hero Half Marathon- 11/16 (5:30 am)
- Las Vegas Rock ‘n’ Roll Half Marathon- 11/16 (4:30 pm)
This includes two races in one day in two different states (yup, there’s air travel involved in this too).
That’s going to be a lot of wear and tear on my body in a short amount of time. I can only imagine how I’ll be walking the day after.
Well, the Santa Barbara Half Marathon is scheduled for Nov. 8th (the week before my monster weekend). I’m in good shape to run Santa Barbara and part of me still wants to run it.
But doing so means I’d go into my monster weekend on potentially tired (and still recovering) legs.
In this instance, I’m going to err on the side of caution.
Now just because I’m not running a race doesn’t mean I’m going to be sitting on the sofa next weekend chowing down on leftover Halloween candy.
I plan to do a taper run next weekend and also make certain I get some extra rest too. It’s the right call and I should then be raring to go for my “3-Pack” weekend.
Besides I never have leftover Halloween candy (nom nom).
Have you ever deferred a race? What was the reason? Chime in and let me know.
Posted on October 31, 2014, in General and tagged Defer. Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.
First off, how are you managing the LV Expo? Certainly you’re not planning on running Saturday, trekking to LV, then back to LA then back to LV? Are you? Just curious because this sounds nutty.
Deferment on the races you’ve chosen seems prudent to me. Perhaps when you did your initial race calendar, you bit off a bit more than you can shoe. See what I did there?
For Las Vegas I signed up for same day bib pick-up (cost $40… a little bit high, but necessary). So all I have to do is show up and grab my bib and I’m off to the races (literally). And yes, the whole thing is a bit nutty, I agree. As for the deferment, I do think I my eyes might have been a little bigger than my stomach. Thing is I signed up for Santa Barbara and Ventura way back in March (when my sched was pretty open for the fall) and then these other races that I wanted to do even more popped up so I signed up for ’em all. Once I had committed to everything and looked at the list I was a little shocked at how heavy my fall was. Deferring a few races is definitely the smart thing. I’ve also dropped a Thanksgiving race and a Christmas 10K (hadn’t signed up for ’em yet) so I’ve got 4 weeks off from racing after these three back-to-back-to-back races. Oh, and I’m going to have to defer Ventura again (or transfer it) for 2015 because it’s the same weekend as REVEL Big Cottonwood. Ha!
I’ll be at Vegas too! I’m interested to see how you’re feeling post Avengers before you go into the Vegas half… my friend Kimberly is doing Avengers too, but tackling the Vegas FULL… so just as much mileage as you!
The week after Vegas, I’m attempting my first “double” weekend at Annapolis and Philly, so any advice to prep myself for the beating my body will take over the course of 48 hours is greatly appreciated! Despite not even having experienced that, I’ve already booked a second double weekend in January, with Mississippi Blues and First Light in MS and AL… Perhaps I’m a little nutty, but I want to bang out those states!
Hey Jim… thanks for the note. And tell your friend Kimberly good luck. If she’s flying to Vegas (like several of us are) there’s a good chance she’ll be on the same plane as me out of LAX. And congrats on attempting the two-fer runs yourself (we are all a bit crazy, aren’t we). I’ve been seeking out advice myself and got some good one. First off, you know to go slow (it’s not about finish time). I normally do a 6:1 run/walk ratio (I do the Galloway method) for these races I’m going to change it quite a bit, to a 3:2 or maybe even a 2:2. And when it comes to the last race (Vegas) it’s just going to be about crossing the finish line, even if I have to walk the whole damn thing. Also, compression gear can really help (socks/pants/shirts), especially in between. I’m wearing compression calf sleeves during the race and compression socks and shorts after each race (and during the flight). I’ll be sure to let you know anything else I hear and please let me know how your races go.